Joey Barton has been in the news a lot this week.
Villa Park – where Newcastle were relegated in 2009
But of course when you make controversial statements to the press, that will always be the case, and we all know the sports journalists just love it.
Joey will take center stage tomorrow afternoon at Villa Park, when he will captain the Newcastle United side, and it’s only a short two years since Newcastle suffered relegation at the same venue.
Alan Pardew talked today about how he wants Newcastle to finish the season and Joey Barton comes up again:
“Not just at Newcastle but at every club it is about how you finish the season, and that you prove you are a team of winners.”
“It is about winning games when it isn’t just life or death and producing those winning performances. For me being manager of a club this size, we should be expecting to win every single game.”
“I want to see that reflected from every player, including Joey Barton.” “There are a lot of things that Joey will regret in his career.” “There are some things he can draw experience from.”
“He’s in a better place to do that now. He has been helped in the background. That help has been reflected on the pitch in his behavior and the way he conducts himself.”
“What you must not forget about Joey is that he has talent.” “That’s what is answering the critics who have been at him in the past.” “He is playing well and has got his life in order – and long may it continue.”
“There is always a time in anybody’s career when you have to turn the page.” “It’s in the past, some people give forgiveness and move on, that happens in general life – the church encourage it and if they encourage it, that’s good enough for me.”
It’s fairly obvious that Joey Barton has been given some help these last couple of years, but it’s good that he’s taken it all in and become a better person from it.
And Joey has always been a very good player, and he’s proved that once again this season, in what is probably the best football league in the world at the moment.
It would be a high moment for Joey, if he can captain the side to a win against Villa tomorrow, and really pay back Newcastle fans back, for the misery and pain of that 1-0 defeat, just less than two years ago.
Come to think of it, that’s just exactly what the players should be trying to do tomorrow.
A win would be fantastic, and would make the Newcastle club safe this season in the league, and you cannot ask for much more than that – to accomplish the number one goal for the season with still 6 games to play.